Kat’s (Definitely Not Definitive) Rules for Set Life

Life in Vancouver has been bliss. While I used to work in TV and film back home in Austria, set experiences here are a completely different matter. You can get so close to all the action and basically spend an entire day on set if you want to, I would have never expected that. People in Vancouver are so used to their city (and surrounding area) being occupied by film crews, most of them don’t even care to stop anymore unless it’s a scene for “Deadpool” (Seriously, the first question asked on any set is “Is this Deadpool?”). That means sets usually attract real fans or TV enthusiasts instead of random passersby and the crew does their best to accommodate these people while still trying to do their job. I think it’s only fair to not make their life any more difficult in the process, so here are some of my tiny tips and rules while visiting sets. *

*I am Jon Snow-ing this. I know nothing, I just pretend I do, so no guarantee on this working all the time.

RULE 1: Be Quiet

I was so used to just shutting my mouth mid-sentence whenever I heard someone scream “rolling” (pretty much what you’ll hear as soon as the cameras go on), that I didn’t even consider that some people might not know what that means. Technology is amazing these days and the microphones will pick up your voice for sure if you keep talking while they’re filming, even if you stand on the other side of the lot. I get that it’s exciting to be on set and to see your faves in action, you want to share that giddiness with the world, but there is nothing more uncomfortable than a crew member coming over to tell you that you just ruined a shot.

So, you don’t have to be mute the entire time. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the set visit, but just make sure you pay attention to when they are filming and when it would be more appropriate to be quiet.

RULE 2: Don’t Mess Up the Shot

This one goes kind of hand in hand with the previous one. Don’t just be aware of your sound volume, but also keep in mind the position of the camera. Most of the time PAs (Production Assistants, who you will recognise through their bright neon vests and solid attachment to their walkie talkies) will inform you if you are in the way, but you can make their life a lot easier if you just move on your own if you see they are changing the camera angle in your direction.

Also, even if you don’t feel like you are in the shot, move if the crew tells you to. This could have multiple reasons. For one, maybe you are wearing bright colors or fandom clothes and even if those were just in the periphery of the shot, they could be a real distraction. Second, and this isn’t the case very often but does happen from time to time, some actors/actresses prefer if the fans aren’t in their direct eye line while they are filming. AsΒ  pretentious as that sounds, imagine being deep into character and there are random people staring at you, sometimes even waving or maybe taking pictures from the other side of the street, it really ruins the mood. Speaking of cameras, this leads me directly to my next point.

RULE 3: Check What You’re Allowed to Photograph/Film

Most times it is perfectly okay to take pictures or film while you are on set, however, there can be certain restrictions to it. It may be due to the production not wanting certain details to leak (if certain characters survive/new costumes/special events or crossovers/etc.) before the release of the show/film or any other reason, but most of the time they prefer it if you don’t take pictures while they are rolling.

But don’t worry, essentially you’ll get plenty of chances to catch your faves during some fun behind the scenes moments and isn’t that better than the actual scene anyway? Now you just have to consider whether you really want to share those pictures on all your social media or not, because … spoilers?

RULE 4: Treat the Crew/Cast with Respect

Sometimes crew members will lie to you simply to get you out of the way. Sometimes actors/actresses had a rough day and don’t have the time to meet you. Don’t hold it against them. These people are only doing their job and believe it isn’t always an easy one. The hours are crazy, the concentration necessary is insane but they never actively try to work against the fans. They know that without them, they wouldn’t be able to work on their shows, but everyone has a bad day every now and then.

In my opinion this should be a no-brainer, but always treat the cast and crew with respect. There have been an increasing amount of incidences where fans were pulling and screaming at actors in an attempt to get a photo with them and it’s quite disturbing to be honest. Just because they lead a very public life, does in NO way whatsoever mean they are public property. I know that these people are a mere minority among the fans, but they are the loudest of them all and they overshadow all the others.

It is true that sometimes you have to be bold and go up to the person to chat with them and take a picture. No one will ever hold that against you and most people are really used to it (just don’t do it while they are eating. Seriously, don’t ever get between people and their food), but in most cases, the actors/actresses came up to the fans when they had the time. It means they don’t feel ambushed and may even be up for a little chat. To me, that’s the best case scenario.

In conclusion, I feel like most of these were pretty obvious ones, but apparently not to all people. Being on set can be exciting, but also super boring. Sometimes you just stand around for hours, not even really seeing what’s going on. It’s up to you to determine whether it’s worth it or not. I hope this post was a little helpful in case you want to try your luck one day. If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below!

28 thoughts on “Kat’s (Definitely Not Definitive) Rules for Set Life

  1. Some solid advice. I always find that I’d find the locations more exciting than the filming. I still find it insane that you literally stumble upon random sets all over Vancouver. I know it’s a major hub for filming, but never expected it to be on such a large scale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s so funny because so many shows use the SAME location, but when that scene pops up, it looks completely different. I can’t watch most of my shows normally anymore though, I keep saying “I know where that is” or “I’ve been there!”

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  2. Yay! You wrote it!! πŸ˜€ I’d probably be too nervous of messing up their shots and such that I’d go out of my way to – well – stay out of their way haha. That gif of Misha at the end lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did! It took me forever, because I felt like I had a major writer’s (blogger’s ?) block. ANYWAY, I think it turned out okay and the Misha gif was perfect for the situation. I haven’t seen him being chased by fans, but I did see something that came close to this with Cole Sprouse … so yeah … it’s disturbing.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well the thing with Misha is – I think he asked for it hehe. He was running around Comic Con and then people dressed as Cas started to follow and he didn’t seem to mind. Misha’s cool about stuff like that – the fangirls never seem to go too wild around him.

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  3. Ahhh this is SO cool, I can’t believe you find film sets in Vancouver? I mean, I knew a lot of people film there but WOW I AM SHOOK and want to go into your suitcase next time you travel anywhere. :))) (That does not sound creepy at all.) I LOVED reading all this, Kat! What an incredible experience. πŸ˜€

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    • You’ve really missed out on a lot of my monthly wrap ups πŸ˜› I posted pictures of the actors and the sets I visited each month. Sometimes I had actual trouble recalling which sets I had been to, simply because there were so many. I legit once found one while grocery shopping. It’s insane!

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      • It’s really strange, but I have accomplished semi-fame by now in a sense that some crew members know me and actually like having me around set. So … yay me? I guess that is just proof that my “rules” work hahaha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kat, you are literal GOALS okay πŸ˜‚πŸ‘ That is SO COOL!! (have I said that too many times?) Someone book me a plane to Vancouver asap. What films sets have you seen? Like movies/tv shows? Or if you already mentioned those in a post, you can point me in the direction of that if you want haha.

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      • OMG, no hahaha I am not that cool πŸ˜‚
        Well, if you want to see pictures with some of the people I met, I would recommend checking out my monthly wrap ups from July, August and September but I can also just ramble off a list of sets I have been to: The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Supernatural, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, iZombie, Once Upon a Time (probably the one I have been to the most by now), The Arrangement, The Man in the High Castle, Deadpool 2, Travelers, Riverdale, The Good Doctor and even though they don’t film here, I also met half the cast of Sense8.

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      • Omg omg omg AHATATMSNSNWKCNEW I am freaking out and also 156% want to hop on a plane right now!!! πŸ˜±πŸ˜‚ Why do I not live in Vancouver whyyyy. I can’t believe all those shows film in Vancouver! (Riverdale I knew but omg and OUAT and Supergirl and just I’m in shock right now) I haven’t watched Sense8, how is it??

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      • Meeting the Sensies was a dream come true. It is one of my favorite shows, but you have to be in for a lot of strange (and sometimes sexual) stuff. It’s such an ode to humanity though, I adore it with all my heart.
        You definitely have to check out my wrap ups for pictures!!!!

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  4. Well you don’t seem like Jon Snow to me here, you seem like you know EVERYTHING! It does sound like the best case scenario when the actors come up to the fans, but I also understand why they might be having a tough day and aren’t up for a chat- they are just people at work after all (however glamorous and exciting that work may be πŸ˜‰ ) Also that’s so funny about everyone asking if it’s Deadpool lol. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely don’t know everything, but thanks so much for the boost of confidence.
      Yeah, it’s definitely best if you let the actors come to you. Sometimes all you will get from them is a wave from the other side of the street, but it’s still better than running up to them and ambushing them.
      Deadpool is done filming now, but that seriously seemed like the only one they cared about.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! That makes a lot of sense! I feel bad for them sometimes! hahahaa I can understand lol πŸ˜‰ Although I’d have got excited about loads of the things you run into- especially since I’ve picked up OUAT again and mannnn I almost forgot how hot Killian is!!

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      • I love OUAT so much! It’s my favorite set πŸ˜€ the woman who is responsible for the botany (lovingly called Leaf Lady by fans) has given me one of those rubber bracelets saying “I am a Beleafer”. She even recognised me on the street and said “see you on set” when she left. I feel like I have some sort of fame level because of that hahaha

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